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-   -   riding jacket and pants. best one? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/camping-equipment-and-all-clothing/riding-jacket-pants-best-one-65807)

wildlands1 16 Aug 2012 02:39

riding jacket and pants. best one?
last trip i used an aerostich roadmaster separatable suit. but it faded from neon, wasnt h20 proof at all, was hot, cost an arm & leg. for next trip im thinking of a neon darien jacket and grey pants, or is there other better/cheaper/more h2o resistant/cooler, jacket/pant sets out there? ive looked at Rev-it and the shop but i dunno. whatdayathink?

John Downs 16 Aug 2012 04:44

My friends who have Darien jackets and pants like them. Aerostich makes nice stuff. Too rich for my budget to buy new, but you could do worse. I am of the opinion that all riding gear leaks eventually so I buy used gear off craigslist.org with light road rash for pennies on the dollar from fashion conscious riders who don't like getting ribbed by their buddies with road rash jokes. I like Aerostich, First Gear, BMW, and Rukka. But would never buy any of it new for the astronomical retail prices. My mom taught me to sew, so I can fix lightly damaged gear.

Black is beautiful when it comes to riding gear that doesn't show dirt. Gray pants will look gross after kneeling in the dirt and fixing a few flats and spilling ketchup and fries in your lap on the second week of overland traveling. You can wipe oily hands on black and still look fine. Neon jackets are good for visibility, but I assume everyone doesn't see me and wear black jackets that look good even after weeks on the road. Just brush off the dead bugs. If I wanted a visibility edge I would wear a neon vest rather than a neon jacket. Aerostich neon looks gross after 10 or 20,000 miles. Not that I would mind looking like a high-viz hobo mind you. I just choose black pants, tees, jackets, pants, long underwear,riding boots you name it. Black looks better longer between washings so you don't need to take as many clothes.

Just my thoughts on the subject. Others may have ideas.

John Downs

fredsuleman 16 Aug 2012 05:55

The riding gear conundrum has yet to be solved. My only experience is with Aerostich. After 5 years and 120,000 km thru the Americas and Europe--not worth the money. Gear is hot, heavy, leaks, has needed many repairs and modifications to make it work better. I do not know what gear would be better, unfortunately, but I would not go with Aerostich again. The life of my gear has reached its end, so I am also on the search for new gear. Should be interesting given the many options available.

dash 16 Aug 2012 09:54

What sort of riding - tarmac and good gravel roads, or more technical stuff?

What sort of places - hot/cold/wet?

The only thing you can be certain of is that one set of riding gear will not be right for all the above.

Personally, I've come to the conclusion that 'waterproof' is a myth, and the closer you try to get to it the more you lose other desirable properties like ventilation. Additionally, most waterproof motorcycle gear is 'waterproof' on the inside, not the outside (because the outside is the abrasion resistant bit). So if it's wet for a few days you end up smelling like a wet dog and weighing twice as much :D

I do have a conventional Gore-tex/Cordura type two-piece suit, which I wear for commuting - goes over my office clothes, is waterproof enough for 20 miles, and it doesn't matter if it gets wet because I can hang it up in the house overnight.

But for most other riding, I've taken to wearing non-waterproof gear which satisfies the other requirements (protection, temperature control), and just packing a cheap one-piece waterproof oversuit. I only put it on when it rains, and it is far more waterproof than my other 'waterproof' gear which cost well over five times as much.

If I'm doing a reasonable amount of off-tarmac stuff, or it's really hot, I'll generally be in my 'rally' gear - A* Venture jacket, Klim Dakar pants, separate body armour - because the venting is excellent. It's a lot cheaper than the products from the same manufacturer which try to do the waterproofing thing as well.

General touring on the roads, it will usually be leather jacket and kevlar jeans, because it's comfortable and doubles up acceptably as an off-bike outfit.

Matt Cartney 16 Aug 2012 10:58

I use a cheap, rugged, comfy, non waterproof Hein Gericke Tuareg jacket and wear a goretex paclite outdoor jacket underneath (by the north face). It's always waterproof, breathable and comfy. Off the bike I can wear the TNF jacket without looking like a stormtrooper. If its really filthy weather I very occasionally put a 'Gore-Tex' German army surplus jacket over the top which I bought on ebay for £13 (and cut the hood off) and this stops my Hein Gericke getting too waterlogged.

And actually, this combo has worked well in everything from 40 celsius desert riding to freezing wind and rain in europe.

When the waterproofing on my TNF eventually dies, I'll just buy something similar in a sale.

On my legs I wear Kevlar jeans and Hein Gericke overtrousers. This ain't bad, but not quite as comfy/functional as my jacket combo.

Matt :)

oldrider 16 Aug 2012 23:22

Anybody got any recommendations for touring Oz, Dec-May. Been looking at all sorts but not decided yet and, with the amount of clothing out there, my head hurts. I'm considering a Frank Thomas jacket and trousers but am open to advice.

BlackDogZulu 17 Aug 2012 09:19

Frank Thomas went out of business a while ago, so there will be no product support. I have had a lot of FT gear over the years, and used to rate it highly - not the best but good enough, and reasonably priced. My old FT gear is still going strong, but stuff I have bought more recently seems to have been of a much lower quality. I would steer clear of it, unless it is really cheap.

If you want mid-range gear, I have had good experiences of Buffalo and Richa, but these may not be available in your part of the world.

sparco 17 Aug 2012 09:32

try rukka then bmw equipment, for the latest bmw suit, it has a limmit of driving 600km on heavy rains before it leaks , so those two are the best , but then again it all depends on rider, and stuff, and it costs

oldrider 17 Aug 2012 16:33

Thanks peeps, I'll look again. Heine Gericke are closing is it worth a look at their sale? There's a shop in Leicester........

markharf 17 Aug 2012 18:13

I'll go along with everything said above. It all leaks, none of it is particularly well-designed, and the stuff which is at least well-constructed (with various faults) is obscenely expensive. Besides all that, you're looking for a balance between shedding weather and ventilating well, and the balance point shifts according to where and when you'll be riding. Anything fairly weatherproof is going to roast you in the tropics; anything fairly cool is going to let you down in changeable mountain weather or during all-day rides in European rains.

In large measure your job as consumer is to decide what you want to emphasize--ventilation, weatherproofing, price, fall-protection, styling.... I've come down strongly on the side of weather protection (expensive Aerostich Darien tops and bottoms with secondary layers of cheap backpacker rainsuit), but on a long trip which included several months straight in the tropics I wondered about my sanity every day. On the other hand, there were times on the altiplano or in northern Europe during the fall (and southern Europe during winter) when I was damn glad I wasn't wearing mesh and I had that second "waterproof" layer.

One last point: I sure don't wear black if I'm going to be anyplace hot. Grey is the darkest color I'll do--helmet, jacket, pants. This makes the difference in hot weather between almost tolerable and absolutely intolerable.

Hope that's helpful.


oldrider 17 Aug 2012 22:02

Thanks Mark, I'm definitely looking for a light helmet (flip up with blue tooth so I can listen to my MP3) and have looked at greys and beiges for clothing. I'm tending to agree with you on the rainsuit, there are some lightweight ones that fold up to a bum bag size (fanny packs in the US I think). No doubt I'll find something - in a rush just before my flight or at the dealers when I pick up the bike!!!

John - oldrider

brads 18 Aug 2012 02:51

If you can find BMW rallye pro 2 for decent money you`ve cracked it. Best gear I`ve used and I got my whole kit new for 550

DLbiten 21 Aug 2012 22:38

All my gear is waterproof and it all leaks I have had BMW First Gear Olympia moto sport Sidi and Redwing kit, got wet in all of it.

As far as best depends on who you ask But you may want to look at Motoport . Made of kevlar and impact pads. For the price they better be good and they say it is waterproof. Seen it and it looks good if a bit odd. After a few weeks it "brakes in" stops looking stiff. The man behind it is a bit proud of his stuff and dose not like any one questioning him. Seen that posted about him but I do not know my self.

othalan 23 Aug 2012 01:21

I use Motoport kevlar gear and am delighted with it in almost every way. My only complaint is the weight and bulk, but that is because I got the quad-armor instead of the default tri-armor (which I would choose next time). I've used it in hot, cold, dry, wet, and snowing. Always comfortable and dry.

tradern 25 Aug 2012 06:39

Both my girlfriend and I have had good luck with the Rallye 3 gear so far. Purely chosen as a massive (think $600US) discount was offered on the complete outfit. Otherwise Rev-it would have been the first choice after my brother has used their gear for a couple of years with great results/crashes.

My Rallye 2 gear got me 4 years of almost every working day use. The goretex wore out on the lower legs and arse but the quality of the suit was unbeatable, no stitching ever came apart and the zips never failed me. Eventually I sold it genuinely on ebay for a great price after gearing up with the rallye 3 for our RTW trip. I'm guessing the buyer will get another 4 years out of it easily (albiet not so waterproof). A new goretex liner would have brought it back to as new condition.

Rallye 3:

Some stitching (the arm adjusting straps) is weak and coming apart but functionally this isn't too much of a drama. In SEA we run both zips/press studs only in the center to roll the collar down and the bottom of the jacket up (for more airflow over the torso). Black is great for the above mentioned reasons but really sucks the life out of you in the tropical heat/sun.

Waterproofing is a holistic approach with the BM santiago boots and waterproof gloves (the more gauntlet style the merrier). Although we've had to seam seal one of Clarissa's boots due to failed stitching. Mind you after owning 4 different types of boots over the last 8 years these santiago's are my favourite by far. Obviously if you don't run suitable gloves (we only have our dirt gloves here in Thailand) the goretex is for nothing when the water travels up the cuffs and pools in the elbows and travels down the body, into the pants and into the boots. Although we now choose to get wet (and a little cold) here in south east asia.

The armour is the best part - how its flexible in the normal conditions but hardens under impact. Clarissa has had numerous hard landings on the knees and has walked away each time.

Worst part for us is that for Clarissa (unisex sizing) is certainly not the best and we've had to trim the spine protector so it wasn't pushing the back of her helmet and nodding the head down. Its not particularly flattering for her but functional. My suit fits me exceptionally well. Although more adjustability on the waist would be nice as the noodle soups have taken their toll and my waists shrunk.

For us we will run a waterproof over suit/goretex liner/heated vest/thermals when we get to Japan/Russia/EU etc. As I don't think without the rain suit it will cut the mustard for the cold/snow.

This is just what we have - the grass is always greener on the other side though!

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